Etiquette at 35,000 Feet

Following up on
my earlier posts on people who
freak out high in the sky….well, it seems some folks may need a primer on proper etiquette at 35,000 feet. And as I
am always interested in helping folks get the information they need, I did some looking around and, lo, found a nice
piece that addresses just that issue.

ABC News’ John Nance, whose picture makes him look like an awfully
nice fellow, has
got an article
that explains how fully-packed flights these days are making us a bit like caged rats in crowded
confines. Gone, it seems, are the empty middle seats that we used to enjoy and that allowed us to have at least one
armrest to call our own. Vance basically suggests that the best policy is one where you communicate with your fellow
aislemates, asking them whether they need room to use their laptops and making diplomatic gestures to share the limited
space. He’s right, of course, and the fact is that travelers have to make due with what’s available. But if I have any
quibble with his methods it is that too often very large people are seated next to me…whether due to obesity and lack
of discipline or genetic-based gigantism, and in these too frequent cases, there seems to be little to do but brood.

On another topic of potent value to many of us, he discusses parents who bring babies aboard and seem to ignore
common rules of etiquette, allowing baby Huey to kick and grab the seat in front of him and to peal like an animal.
Yes, there are things that kids do that can’t be controlled, but it is my experience that it is more often the case
that the parent just lets the child do whatever it likes. And that bothers me.

Says Nance:

"It is your responsibility to keep junior from kicking the seat in front or singing at the top of his lungs or
grabbing the poor guy in the next seat (or suddenly reclining the seat so as to destroy the laptop behind him)."